Comeback Falls Short in Oxford

No. 10 Ole Miss hangs on to beat Vanderbilt

OXFORD, Miss. — Quarterback Matt Corral threw for 326 yards and rushed for 29 more in leading No. 10 Ole Miss past visiting Vanderbilt 31-17 at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium on Saturday.

Vanderbilt did all it could to neutralize the high-powered Rebels (9-2, 5-2 SEC), but the Commodore offense only found the end zone once and couldn’t take advantage of a scoreless third quarter by the home team. Ole Miss then put the game out of reach early in the fourth quarter with an 8-yard touchdown run by Henry Parrish.

Rocko Griffin led Vandy’s offense with 117 yards rushing and a touchdown on 26 carries. His scoring run came with 7:47 to go and got the Dores within two scores.

Mike Wright threw for 241 yards on 22 completions while also rushing for 61. Chris Pierce made career-high 10 receptions for 113 yards.

Anfernee Orji led the Commodore defense with nine tackles.

Vanderbilt (2-9, 0-7 SEC) closes out the regular season next Saturday at 2:45 p.m. CT at rival Tennessee (6-5, 3-4 SEC).

Ole Miss took 67 seconds to score to open Saturday’s matchup. A five-play, 65-yard drive ended with Corral’s 8-yard touchdown pass up the middle to Jerrion Early.

Caden Costa added a 28-yard field goal less than three minutes later making it 10-0.

Vanderbilt settled down at that point, made a defensive stop and got the ball back on its own 23. It put together an 11-play drive that chewed up 46 yards and ended with a 49-yard field goal from Joseph Bulovas getting Vandy within 10-3.

Corral’s second touchdown pass of the evening was a 10-yarder to Dontario Drummond putting the Rebels ahead 17-3 early in the second quarter. That play completed a 10-play drive that covered 80 yards in a quick 3:10.

Ole Miss had 223 yards of total offense with 12:51 to go in the first half.

Vandy orchestrated another long drive of 12 plays and 60 yards on the ensuing possession, but had to settle for another Bulovas field goal – this one from 33 yards away – cutting the deficit to 17-6.

The Rebels added one more touchdown before the break, a 4-yard Ealy run, to push their advantage to 24-6. Vandy got the ball back at its own 25 with 2:15 to play and drove to the Ole Miss 23 where Bulovas booted his third field goal of the day, a 41-yarder making it 24-9 at the break.

Ole Miss racked up 295 yards of total offense (7.8 yards per play) and scored on four of six possessions in the first two quarters.

After a scoreless third quarter, Parrish’s touchdown run came at the 12:50 mark of the fourth quarter and gave the Rebels a 22-point lead, too much for Vandy to overcome.

Vanderbilt finished with 454 yards of total offense (a season-high), converted nine third downs and three fourth downs, but 8 of 12 drives ended without points.

• The 100-yard rushing game was the second of Griffin’s career.

• The 100-yard receiving game was the third of Pierce’s career.

• Bulovas now has 14 made field goals this season, tied for the fourth-most in single Vanderbilt season. Carey Spear made a record 20 in 2012.

• The Commodores have now lost 20 consecutive SEC games and 13 straight SEC road games.

• Ole Miss now leads the series against Vanderbilt 54-40-2.

• Vanderbilt has recorded at least one interception in eight straight games thanks to an Ethan Barr pick in the fourth quarter Saturday.

• Vandy last recorded a pick in eight consecutive games from Nov. 29, 1997 through Oct. 24, 1998.

• Vanderbilt’s 13 interceptions this season is its most since the 2018 team also recorded 13.

• Attendance on Saturday was announced as 50,819.